Members of The Brook Hill School community gathered to honor one of their own, as well as hear an encouraging message from a renowned Christian author and celebrate the school’s 20th year history, at the ninth annual Founder’s Day Celebration event, held Monday, Oct. 9.
To celebrate their impact on the lives of student and on the campus at The Brook Hill School, the school’s Board of Directors selected to honor Headmaster Rod Fletcher, and his wife, Heather, with the school’s 2017 Guardian Award.
“The process for selecting our Guardian Award winners is that the Brook Hill Board of Trustees gets together and discuss who has been influential and honored the mission of the school,” said Sara Scarborough, Brook Hill Associate Director of Special Events. “This year, we have the privilege of honoring our Headmaster and his wife, Rod and Heather Fletcher. They have poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, as well as a lot of time inside and outside the school to really make Brook Hill the best school that we can be.”
According to Scarborough, Fletcher began his tenure as Headmaster at The Brook Hill School in June 2004. Prior to coming to Brook Hill, Fletcher taught and coached at Jackson Preparatory School in Jackson, Miss., where he also served as Junior High Principal, as well as principal at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta, Ga.
In an emailed statement obtained by Bullard Banner News, Brook Hill founder Steve Dement praised the Fletchers for their leadership, encouragement, and support throughout their tenure at the school.
“The Fletcher family has had a profound impact on The Brook Hill School for the past 14 years,” said Stephen Dement, Founder and Chairman of the Board for The Brook Hill School. “Rod’s leadership as Headmaster along with Heather’s encouragement and support of Brook Hill families and the school have made this a better place. The Board of Trustees is proud to honor both Rod and Heather and their invaluable service to Brook Hill.”
During the recognition of the Fletchers, a video was played featuring Brook Hill students, teachers, staff members, and parents thanking the couple for their service and dedication to the school.
In October of 2008, Brook Hill began presenting the Guardian Award to those people who have made a significant impact in helping to further the mission of the school. The tradition started with honoring the school’s founder, Stephen Dement, whose dream that started with a cabin and a brook has now become a thriving reality.
Past recipients of the Brook Hill Guardian Award have included Dement (2008), Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas (2009); Ginger Bell and Ben Lauderdale (2010), Mr. and Mrs. Sherif Sharawi (2011), Mr. and Mrs. David Lake (2012), the original Brook Hill Board of Trustees (2013), Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schwab (2014), Dr. Mark & Dr. Rebecca Jones (2015), and Mr. and Mrs. Mike Clements (2016).
During the summer months, the administration at Brook Hill announced that Christian author Lee Strobel would serve as the keynote speaker for the ninth annual Founder’s Day.
“When we select our speakers for Founder’s Day, we usually choose someone who is a Christian and in keeping with our beliefs as a school,” said Scarborough. “We also wanted someone who can speak truth into our guests attending the event. After hearing about Strobel and several people reading his recent book that was turned into a movie, it was suggested to us that we approach him about speaking. He comes with a large background at speaking at various Christian events and has a great way of sharing his story with others.”
Strobel earned his Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and his Master of Studies in Law at Yale Law School. He was a journalist for 14 years at The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, winning Illinois’ highest honor for public service journalism from United Press International. He also led a team that won UPI’s top award for investigative reporting in Illinois.
He has been a featured guest on national networks including ABC, Fox, Discovery, PBS, and CNN. Strobel was the host of Faith Under Fire, a provocative program that brought together some of the brightest Christians and skeptics to debate issues central to the Christian faith. He also appeared in the feature film, God’s Not Dead 2, as an expert witness for the defense.
Strobel’s recent release, The Case for Grace, recently won the 2016 Nonfiction Book of the Year from the EPCA.
He is currently a teaching pastor at Woodlands Church in Texas where he speaks multiple times each year. He recently joined the faculty at Houston Baptist University as a Professor of Christian Thought.
As part of his speaking ministry, Strobel travels across the country (and sometimes the world) sharing his testimony, encouraging believers, and challenging skeptics. He regularly speaks at conferences, commencements, fundraisers, and other major events.
Lee and his wife, Leslie, have been married for over 40 years and live in Texas. They have two children, Alison and Kyle.
In April 2017, Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ, which details his conversion to Christianity, was adapted into a film and released by the Christian film company Pureflix. The film stars Mike Vogel as Strobel and tells the story of Strobel’s journey from atheism to Christianity. Also featured in the film are Erika Christensen, Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway, and Academy Award-nominee Robert Forster.
During the Founder’s Day event, Strobel delivered the keynote address to attendees entitled “The Case for a Christian Education.”
Also included in the ninth annual Brook Hill Founder’s Day event were performances of “Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here” and “Be Thou My Vision” by the Bullard Southern Baptist Church Praise and Worship team, a performance of “Dreams that Children Dream” by the Brook Hill Lower School Cadet Singers, and a performance of “Vivaldi’s Gloria” by current and former members of the Brook Hill Orchestra and Guard Chorale.
Sponsors for the 2017 Brook Hill Founder’s Day event included presenting sponsors Donna and Michael Clements, Lake Tyler Petroleum Club, and Mr. and Mrs. David Lake and family; keynote sponsors Juanita and Sherif Sharawi, Sherrie and John Soules, Jr., and Southern Multifoods & Friends at Taco Bell; founder’s sponsors Ken and Jion Dietz, Stacy and Dr. Glen Graves, Landmark Title, Inc., and Megan and Chase Tarrant; and guardian sponsors Shauna and Dr. David Bright, Sandra and Eddie Fritcher, Nicole and Jason Richards, and Lindsay and Mike Stansberry.
Established in 1997, The Brook Hill School provides a college preparatory education and encourages students to honor God through Christ-like character. Brook Hill currently has 665 students enrolled in Pre-K through 12th grade.
For more information about The Brook Hill School, visit www.brookhill.org.